Tuesday, July 10, 2018

And then they were SIX

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about in over two years, it’s that I haven’t felt like it or was just too dang brain tired to do so.  I’m sure I’ll regret this lack of memory preserving one day (kinda already do), but it is what it is.  Time keeps on flying by.  These kiddos just finished up KINDERGARTEN!!  Like for real had a kindergarten graduation (I’ll spare you my opinion on this).  I remember a time when kindergarten was all my dreams were made of- 6 years in a blur, but I have a distinct memory of being surrounded by babies and repeatedly thinking “If I can only make it till kindergarten...”.  And look!  We’ve done it.  I have six 6 year olds y’all!  What in the what?!


Before we get to the individual break downs of sextupletness, the kindergarten FAQ:


- They were split 3/2/1 in classes: Caroline Ben and Levi; Allison and Andrew; Leah.  No, not sure what the plan for next year will be, but I will be asking the kids’ opinions.

- I packed lunches, backpacks, and had clothes laid out the night before or else we’d never make it on time.  Cut it close every single day as it was.

- They all have loved school and done well and have learned way more than I ever did in kindergarten.  Homework was optional and we generally opted out.

- Andrew got in trouble the most.  Actually, he’s the only one I know of who was ever in trouble.  He’s a sweet boy, but sometimes doesn’t listen and sometimes just plain talks too much.

- None of them liked going to school more than I loved dropping them off in the morning!  Sweet taste of freedom- for a few hours on weekdays ;) The school year spoiled me.

Now without further ado... in birth order... my six year olds:

Andrew Noah

This boy.  He is a goober.  I know that may sound bad, but really, that’s Andrew.  Who he gets his extremely outgoing nature from, I haven’t a clue.  He knows no stranger and has no filter.  Things he has recently said to complete strangers (after properly introducing himself with his full name, of course, and likely any and all family members present):

I came out first.
In August we go swimming.
Want to see my ninja moves? 
Are you coming with us to ___?

... he’ll end with whatever personal questions pop into his head.  He makes friends wherever he goes!  While the others tend to stick together, Andrew is likely to find his own people to hang out with.  Once when I went to eat lunch with them at school, he sat down with another family and ate with them.  Thankfully, that parent found him entertaining. 
He’s still sensitive, a scaredy cat, a little bit of a bully, but loves his people big.  I get “you’re the best mom ever” almost daily from him.  He’s the tallest pack member by a head, yet still wants to be picked up and flipped around like the littles.  But don’t let that gooberness fool you, he’s much smarter than he lets on.  And you really should see his ninja moves.  

Benjamin Luke

Oh Benny Boy.  A true Perkins indeed.  Why change when you can be perfectly content in your own quirkiness?  Yes, he still calls himself Benny Boy and makes others call him that too.  But I have heard at school he lets his teachers call him Ben.  He’s been rocking the long sleeve, shorts, and sandals wardrobe for a solid 3 years now.  3 years.  Long sleeves.  In Houston.  He is that stubborn.  And bossy as bossy can be.  And his siblings listen to him!  He says he wants to do nothing when he grows up, but I think he’ll be a boss- of something.  He loves attention when he wants it, and if he doesn’t just do yourself a favor and do not look in his direction.  He’ll willingly perform “tricks” or share another “great idea”... or he may go sneak off to play by himself.  He’s my night owl.  I often find him up way past bedtime looking at books, which of course leads to fun school mornings.  Ben is still my talker.  Not as much constant commentary as he used to give, but detailed accounts of his day or upcoming plans or instructions.  My Ben Boo has so many nicknames and still charms the pants off most people he meets.  His little old man ways are pretty cute.  And he could survive on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches alone.  Preferably of the double decker variety.

Caroline Grace

Sweet Caroline! Or Sweet Caroline?  Depends on the hour with this girl.  No matter her mood, she’s a girl who knows what she wants and makes it known.  Which sometimes requires a calm down break (aka time out).  Silly, smart, and stubborn to the nth degree (some people say she gets it from me, but what do they know).  She loves pink and often wears it head to toe, but HATES anything remotely girly.  Don’t you dare try to fix her hair or make her wear a dress.  Trust me, not worth it.  I never wanted a tomboy...because what do I do with one of those?  But I got me one.  Caroline loves to color, read, and soak up as much one on one time as she can.  Just about any adult will do, but she’s a mommy’s girl at heart.  Every single day she wants to “do a workout” with me.  Just the two of us.  Sometimes it’s running around the block, but usually she locks us in the master bedroom and we take turns calling out exercises for the other to do.  Sounds like a blast right?!  But then she’ll completely ignore me when I’m visiting them at school.  Won’t sit with me at lunch, cries when I enter the classroom, and sometimes won’t even look in my direction.  But then again, this girl’s always been a little complicated.  She still loves breakfast, being a helper, and sleep.  She asks to take a nap most days and still sucks her two middle fingers.  And she is awful proud of her toots.  That’s my girl ;)

Leah Michelle

Leah Peah.  She is such a joy!  Happiest disposition of anyone I know.  You know something is wrong in her world when she isn’t happy.  Especially if music doesn’t cure what ails her.  Music is still her love language.  Uptown Funk and the entire musical collection of Laurie Berkner never get old to her.  We’ve been listening to the same selection of songs for 5 1/2 years- everyday- but it’s worth her calm and happiness.  Basically, I’m a master tuner outer at this point.  She loves cuddles and kisses as much as she loves music.  She’s getting kinda big and awkward to cuddle, but we make it work.  Leah loves being in the water too- bath time and pool time relax her.  Since the last time I posted, Leah’s health has been a roller coaster.  We’ve learned to manage new things to hopefully avoid some downs, but you just never know.  Despite the setbacks, Leah is still hitting her inchstones (we don’t focus on milestones ;)) in school and therapy.  She works her booty off and is completely exhausted by the time both are over every weekday.  She is a speed demon in her gait trainer- even on carpet, rocks some cause and effect toys, and is learning to use switches to communicate and identify objects.  She has become much more vocal this year- she uses her vocalizations to respond to questions and make her opinions known.  She has different tones for whining, being tired, pain, excitement, and what we call “drama”.  Her siblings help a bit in her care now too.  All her teachers tell me she’s their favorite.  They may tell that to every parent, but I like to think it’s true.  

Allison Kate

My Little Miss.  We don’t call her Smidge anymore, but she’s still a tiny little thing.  And she knows how to play that card too.  But she can hold her own against her siblings when she needs to.  Allison always has been and always will be the little mommy of the group.  She knows what should be done, what needs to be done, and tries her best to keep everyone in line.  Sometimes even me!  She loves her teacher and wants to stay in kindergarten forever.  Alli is by far the shyest of the pack- unless she’s on our cooking videos- and is usually terrified to go into new social situations or try anything she might not be perfect at.  Perfectionist indeed.  Once when we were decorating cookies, she was meticulously placing sprinkles and such on her cookie while a sibling haphazardly dumped on theirs. She looked over and exclaimed “Ugh.  That is so wrong.”  And she’s my girly girl.  Princesses and pretty dresses and painted nails and make up- YES! But no hair fixing.  She is extremely responsible for her age and I’ve said before if she were my only one, I could take naps all day and not worry a bit about what she’s doing.

Levi Thomas

Little Dude.  Monkey Man.  Levi has about as many nicknames as Ben.  What he lacks in stature, he makes up for in personality!  All things butt, poop, and fart are hilarious these days.  Levi still loves to make everyone laugh and act as  silly as can be.  But he can also pop an attitude with the best of em.  Sometimes I think he’s going on sixteen with his eye rolls and smart responses.  He’s got a quick temper too- we call it the “Levi freak outs”, but he’s also quick to calm down and go back to his sweet, caring self.  Levi has been my big surprise in school.  He truly loves to learn.  He constantly asks questions about everything, how it works, and why it is.  Sometimes I don’t know the answers!  I thought he’d be too easily distracted for school, but he’s proven me wrong.  Levi is very into art and drawing right now.  He’s already drawing better than I can and has the best handwriting of any left-handed 6 year old boy I’ve ever seen.  He’s not as outgoing as Andrew, but still much more so than the others.   I recently found out he told the one kid no one wants to play with that he’d be his friend.  I love that he noticed and cared.  Levi has always been independent and moved to the beat of his own drum.  But he still needs his mommy hugs and cuddles.  He still loves music but now race cars are in the mix too.    He’s very much my jack of all trades and no telling what he’ll end up doing with all of his skills.


I love how very different they all are and seeing each child develop into their own person.  Yet, they’re still the best of friends and undoubtedly share a special bond.  They have each started forming their own friendships at  school, and of course fight like siblings do, but still play so well together, encourage each other, and love their brothers and sisters so.

I can’t ever end a birthday post without a thank you.  Our Perkins Pack support team has amazed me from day one and continues to do so.  A few people have stuck around for 6 years and others have come and gone, but the fact that so many have given of themselves to help  us has never gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  From the little things to the big, THANK YOU for your kindness and generosity!!  We are so grateful for another year of this adventure.



* photos courtesy of Lisa Holloway Photography

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